Renaissances: The One or the Many?

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Overview

One of the most distinguished social scientists in the world addresses one of the central historical questions of the past millennium: does the European Renaissance deserve its unique status at the very heart of our notions of modernity? Jack Goody scrutinises the European model in relation to parallel renaissances that have taken place in other cultural areas, primarily Islam and China, and emphasises what Europe owed to non-European influences. Renaissances continues that strand of historical analysis critical of Eurocentrism that Goody has developed in recent works like The East and the West (1996) or The Theft of History (2006). This book is wide-ranging, powerful, deftly argued, and draws upon the author's long experience of working in Africa and elsewhere. Not since Toynbee in The Study of History has anybody attempted quite what Jack Goody is undertaking in Renaissances, and the result is as accessible as it is ambitious.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...a magisterial book..." -Times Literary Supplement

"...valuable and stimulating work." -Sumit Guha, Canadian Journal of History

"Jack Goody’s Renaissances appears as the oeuvre of a senior scholar standing on the peak of a mountain and looking back over his journey with the broad perspective that only many years of scholarship can bring. Goody is well known and respected as an anthropologist of wide interests and skills, whose early work on Africa and later work on literacy have allowed him to become, more recently, a comparative scholar on a global scale." -Emily Michelson, The Journal of Modern History

"It is rare to find a monograph that is so passionately argued, and motivated by such a clear authorial vision."
-Carla S. Nappi,University of British Columbia

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521768016
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 1/31/2010
  • Pages: 332
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Jack Goody is Emeritus Professor of Social Anthropology in the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of St John's College. Recently knighted by Her Majesty The Queen for services to anthropology, Professor Goody has researched and taught all over the world, is a Fellow of the British Academy and in 1980 was made a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
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Table of Contents

Introduction; 1. The idea of a renaissance; 2. Montpellier and medicine in Europe; 3. Religion and the secular; 4. Rebirth in Islam; 5. Emancipation and efflorescence in Judaism; 6. Cultural continuity in India; 7. Renaissance in China; 8. Were renaissances only European?; Appendices.
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